IFoA Foundation Q&A with Rutendo Mupani, Actuarial Student
Rutendo Mupani is an actuarial student from Zimbabwe. She received funding support from the IFoA Foundation for her CS1 examination.
What was your inspiration for studying actuarial science?
Throughout my academic career, I have consistently received top marks in mathematics. My daily bread consisted of math textbooks. I made sure I practised all of the exercises and looked for problems that were difficult. After completing my A-levels, I realised it was time to choose a university degree. I learned about actuarial science, and chose to pursue it after doing some research. Because I wanted to do something tough, I chose actuarial science as my major. I applied to the University of Zimbabwe for this program. The program proved to be more than up to the task, but I did not succumb to the dread of failing or the pressure of winning. I kept my gaze fixed on the target, which was holding my actuarial degree.
What impact will your grant from the IFoA Foundation have on your life?
As I was nearing the end of my studies, I applied for an IFoA Foundation grant, which I received quickly. The Foundation addressed my financial issue by issuing me a grant to pay for my first actuarial exam. Given the economic difficulty in Zimbabwe, and coming from a poor home with an unemployed single mother, l could not have supported my professional life without it.
How will this funding improve and impact your career and wider community?
During my attachment year, I worked for Econet Life, a Zimbabwean insurance firm. My time there gave me a greater understanding of actuarial science and the various disciplines in which an actuary might work in the financial world. I was able to improve my technical and programming skills. Every day was a new challenge in terms of applying what I had learned and finding out more about the industry. It was time to build relationships with actuaries who were already working in the field. One actuary told me to begin studying for examinations as soon as possible since they are a ticket to being a qualified professional who can work anywhere in the world. However, due to budgetary constraints, I was unable to begin immediately. The grant helped me in laying the groundwork for my career as an actuary. Taking my first actuarial exam will be a solid start to my professional life.
What are your career aspirations and ambitions?
Now that I'm studying for my first exam, I'm seeking to undertake a Masters degree in Applied Actuarial Sciences, or a Masters degree in Actuarial Sciences, at a university where I can acquire exemptions.
After finishing my degree and passing a few actuarial exams, l intend to begin instructing actuarial students at National University of Sciences and Technology and the University of Zimbabwe as a volunteer. In addition to my qualification, mentoring and supporting other students will positively affect the Zimbabwean economy since many lives will be improved, resulting in a transition from poverty to higher living standards, more taxes from the employed, and reduced workload for the lecturers, meaning a better student-to-teacher ratio.
How does it feel to receive an education grant from the IFoA Foundation?
I am tremendously delighted to be one of the beneficiaries of the IFoA Foundation. The funding is giving a lot of students optimism, and we’re seeing things that we thought impossible happen. I applaud and encourage the Foundation to continue providing to the lives of students who are less privileged in their pursuit of actuarial ambitions.
I will be eternally grateful to the Foundation for guiding me along the right path.
Dr Masimba Zata FIA is a Director of Insurance Solutions at Moody’s Analytics. In addition to his Moody’s role, Masimba helps to empower young people through an actuarial education as a trustee of the IFoA Foundation and a visiting lecturer on the Actuarial Science programme at Queen Mary, University of London.
“The small population of actuaries in Zimbabwe is playing a critical role in developing the economy, and can count the CEOs of large banks and insurers, as well as policy-makers at the Social Security Authority among its membership. Empowering actuarial students like Rutendo will therefore mean that this population grows, and will allow the Zimbabwean economy to benefit even more from this unique skillset.
I am pleased to see the positive impact that our education grants are having on students such as Rutendo, but this is just the beginning of the journey for the IFoA Foundation in Africa. The Foundation is in the process of setting up an African Scholarship Fund, which will aim to widen the reach and level of support for actuarial students across the continent.”
Supporting the IFoA Foundation
By supporting the IFoA Foundation, you can make a difference to determined, talented students like Rutendo who are starting out in their careers as actuaries. Students in the UK and from across the globe are reaching out to us for support all the time. Will you help us to build a sustainable future for aspiring actuaries and donate to the IFoA Foundation today?
A donation of £208 could fund a new student member’s admission and subscription fee to the IFoA for one year, giving them the means to start undertaking examinations and realising their dreams.
Visit to make a donation today.